With the same conviction that’s evident when he shoots for the onion bag, Sadio Mane is adamant he knows the outcome when Liverpool ungraciously hosts its archrival at Anfield on Monday.

“We are going to beat Manchester United,” the Senegalese said, in an interview with The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe.

The flying forward has slotted seamlessly into Jurgen Klopp’s gegenpressing philosophy since switching from Southampton in the summer, and said his confidence ahead of the storied bout is mirrored by his teammates.

“Of course,” Mane replied, when pressed on whether he genuinely believed his assertion. “We all believe it. We are going to make it.”

Mane, who previously plied his trade for FC Metz and Red Bull Salzburg, scoffed at anyone who downplays the occasion. It’s a rivalry that indulges a history of venomous exchanges between the northwest cities, and a match Mane dubs among the biggest he’s been a part of.

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“My games for Senegal will have been the biggest so far. For my club, I think my biggest was my debut for Southampton against Arsenal,” the 24-year-old explained. “We won and I scored. I was under big pressure so for me that was amazing. Now this will be one of the most important. Everyone would like to score in a game like this.”

If Louis van Gaal’s persuasion skills in the summer of 2015 were better, it could have been very different. Mane was subject to a £25-million bid from United, and the speed merchant insists it was his want “to prove something” on the south coast that scuppered the deal, rather than Southampton’s apparent reluctance to sell.

When Liverpool came knocking a year later, though, Mane was under no illusions of where the next step in his burgeoning career would take him.

“It was only when Liverpool came in (last summer) that I never had a second thought and knew I wanted to join,” Mane continued. “It was different because then was the right moment for me. I finally came to Liverpool and I was happy with that, and now I’m happy I am playing against Manchester United.”

And in the current market, his £32-million fee can be regarded as a snip.

To date, Mane has played under quality coaches in his relatively short professional career, including Ronald Koeman and Roger Schmidt, but he reserved the most special praise for Klopp.

“He is one of the best in the world and for us to have the chance to have him is a coach makes us all happy,” Mane gushed. “He has – I need to find the right word in English – it is a passion. An enthusiasm. He knows how to motivate players, engage with them and give you more confidence.

“He tells us all to always be hungry to win and become one of the best. Whenever I play I know I have the support to help me.”

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